Dogen's Zazen Instructions
For practicing Zen, a quiet room is suitable. Eat and
drink moderately. Put aside all involvements and suspend
all affairs. Do not think "good" or "bad." Do
not judge true or false. Give up the operations of mind,
intellect, and consciousness; stop measuring with thoughts,
ideas, and views. Have no designs on becoming a Buddha.
How could that be limited to sitting or lying down?
At your sitting place, spread out a thick mat and put
a cushion on it. Sit either in the full-lotus or half-lotus
position. In the full-lotus position, first place your
right foot on your left thigh, then your left foot on your
right thigh. In the half-lotus, simply place your left
foot on your right thigh. Tie your robes loosely and arrange
them neatly. Then place your right hand on your left leg
and your left hand on your right palm, thumb-tips lightly
touching. Straighten your body and sit upright, leaning
neither left nor right, neither forward nor backward. Align
your ears with your shoulders and your nose with your navel.
Rest the tip of your tongue against the front of the roof
of your mouth, with teeth and lips together both shut.
Always keep your eyes open, and breathe softly through
your nose. Once you have adjusted your posture, take a
breath and exhale fully, rock your body right and left,
and settle into steady, immovable sitting. Think of not
Not thinking: what kind of thinking is that? Non-thinking.
This is the essential art of zazen.